KAMPALA —Ugandan Embassy in Kinshasa and the government of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will host a joint Business Forum from March 22-24 aimed at building foundations that will lead to bolstering bilateral trade between Kampala and the DRC.
The Join Business Forum will present opportunities for increased collaboration between the DRC and Uganda, with presentations and panel sessions that will include the Ugandan private and public sector organisations trading with DRC’s growing sectors.
According to organisers, the much-anticipated second edition of the forum will be hosted under the theme: Deepening Bilateral Trade, Partnerships, Knowledge Transfer for Mutual Peace and Prosperity”.
The other areas of forum’s focus will include promoting trade between the two countries through sharing information on improved trade facilitation, enhanced trade in goods and services as well as investment opportunities.
The forum will offer a platform for sharing the rich business potential that exists between the two neighbouring countries and exploring ways of economically leveraging from the cordial bilateral relations that have been heightened by continuous engagements at the Highest level.
Kenneth Muhangi Managing Partner KTA Advocates who are representing DRC—Ugandan traders under their umbrella organization DRC – Uganda Business Association (DUBA) at the forum said
Uganda and her people are keen to further bilateral relations with DRC and her people.
“With a combined population of 134 mil people, we are excited to be part of such a huge event that will attract tangible investment and knowledge transfer in areas like intellectual property and ICT. Uganda is after all on the path to middle income status and with the opportunities this 2nd edition of the forum presents, we look forward to participation from market leaders in telecom, ICT, retail, digital trade, manufacturing, hospitality, energy and Infrastructure among the many areas of interest, ” Muhangi whose firm is a key partner of the event said.
Dr. Edith Nsubuga Namutebi of the Embassy of Uganda – Kinshasa said the time to trade is now since the environment is ripe
“The political will to cooperation is there, the connectivity challenges are steadily improving with negotiations to extend flights and cargo flights to other parts of DRC and relationships are heightened exemplified by the routine visits of both countries’ high level commissaries,” she said.
She added that by doing business together, the countries undertake multibillion dollar programs in various sectors like agriculture, energy, infrastructure and transportation, ICT and others.
Together there is a potential to improve the economic growth and welfare of the people with mechanisms for mutual development including the joint infrastructure projects, joint patrols, one stop border posts etc.
Uganda and the DRC have supportive flame works that can allow commerce to flourish between the two countries including commissioning of the Joint Infrastructure project that links the two countries, Bilateral Air Services Agreement that permits Uganda Airlines and Eagle Air to fly to Kinshasa.
Other mechanisms include DRC’S ascension to the EAC, COMESA Free Trade Area which both countries have ratified, the Tripartite Free Trade area between COMESA – EAC – SADC.
At a Bilateral level both two countries have an established Joint Permanent Commission and Joint Ministerial Commission among other areas of bilateral cooperation.
Uganda has a comparative advantage in agriculture and one of the largest oil reserves in the region while DRC possesses one of the largest natural resource deposits on earth.